When your child gets good grades at school, how do the teacher’s reward them? Stickers? Hand-written “job well done” comments on their test? Extra credit?
Well we can guarantee that none of those rewards come close to the system Principal Harold Clay has started implementing at Edna Karr High School.
Clay believes that academics are crucial to a child’s success. So much so that when a student’s GPA is 4.0 or higher, he rewards them with cash prizes.
These aren’t just gift cards or free lunch passes. He is literally giving them cash. In fact just recently, Clay distributed $100.00 bills to 33 students whose grades exceeded the standards he implemented.
“When kids are focused on iPhones and Jordans, I’m saying to focus on your education and I’m going to compensate you for it,” explains Clay.
Though cash prizes are reserved for the brightest achievers, Clay hasn’t forgotten about those students who didn’t quite reach his 4.0 GPA minimum. Those with a 3.5 GPA or higher are also recognized, and some are even given varsity jackets and patches.
Clay says his reward system works just like a sporting event. The students engage in what he calls “a friendly competition” to see who can earn the most money or sport the most patches on their jackets, all with a focus on keeping their academics up.
Clay’s program has been met with mixed reviews, with some critics claiming cash prizes are not a sustainable long-term solution for education. But supporters believe Clay’s idea takes academic importance to the next level, and helps set expectations for students when they finally begin their career.
It is also worth noting that Edna Karr High School is ranked second best in the New Orleans Parish School District and also above 83.1% of high schools in Louisiana in academic performance.
What do you think? Do you support Clay’s system of rewarding students with cold hard cash?